Resolved to Get Organized in 2016? Part II: Small Changes That Add Up to Big Gains When Keeping Closets Organized

How many of us have stood in front of a home closet jammed with clothes, shoes and accessories while frowning and pronouncing, “I have NOTHING to wear!” Sound familiar? The irony is that when we walk into our favorite clothing store, we can match up items to wear in a fraction of the time it takes to ferret out a suitable outfit from items we already own.

The ultimate result is lost time and an overspent budget. If we cannot find it easily, we end up buying more of the same.

What if there is a better way to achieve “outfit efficiency?

In Part I of Resolved to Get Organized in 2016: Succeed with a Customized Solution, we described how an closet design can help you get your closets organized. Parsing your closet into meaningful sections is a key to categorize your belongings. Using the custom closet design as a framework or template, the next step is to keep the items organized consistently. In Part II, we described small steps that lead to big gains when is comes to staying organized.

Keep your new closet organized by following the approaches that make a retailer store so efficient in creating outfits.

  1. Color code clothes – Have you ever noticed how blouses on a store rack and men’s ties on a table are organized?
    • They are color-coded and look like a rainbow using the ROYGBIV method (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Following the rainbow are the neutrals cream, brown, black, grey, and white.
    • Color coding your own items will make it simple to mix and match and create outfits quickly.
  2. Department Store Divisions – Close your eyes and think about your favorite department store. See how the store has suits are in one area, dresses in another, sportswear in a three area, underwear, shoes and accessories each in their own assigned spot. These large divisions make it easily for a shopper to find what they need.
    • Imagine standing in the center of the store and turn clockwise looking at each department in turn. What you should notice is that YOU are the center around which the items revolve – they frame you! You are picture perfect and the departments are part of the frame that surrounds you. It may be subtle, but it is definitely purposefully making YOU the center of attention.
    • In your new closet, create a mini-version of your favorite store. Use customized solutions, like a shoe rack or pullout drawers with dividers to separate in clothes into logical categories. Position your categories in a panorama, to help frame you when you stand in the center of the closet. Make sure your closet has excellent lightening so it’s easy to shop you own closet for an outfit.
  3. Meaningful Donations or Resale – Do you enjoy discovering that your favorite store has a “clearance rack” or “final discount” section? Signs in bright red or orange colors or blue-blinking lights are often used to draw you to the area to buy them. Selling these items at a deep discount is still better for the retailer than putting them away in storage. Often what you find does not fit or match perfectly, but the bargain is too hard to pass up.
    • Use reverse logic on your own closet. Build your own “clearance rack” from items you haven’t worn in months or years by rotating the hangers on clothes you HAVE worn. In a few months, see how many items have NOT been worn. These would be place on a “clearance rack.”
    • Review your clearance rack frequently to see what you could sell online or in a consignment store. Keep money from sales in a jar to see it build up. Reward yourself with an elegant dinner, show, etc. but NOT more clothes! Ha! You may also use the money to pay off a bill.
    • Select two boxes or bags and name them after your favorite charities. Place items in the boxes that you know won’t sell but are still in good condition. Create a competition between the two charities’ boxes to see which one fills up first. Making a game of sorting your items will make the entire process more fun.

Building a customized closet that has a layout as efficient as a department store is a great start. Putting together an organizing approach that is based on a mini-version of that same favorite store is even better. Ultimately, what will make your organizing process second nature is the realization that you have saved time and money and can reward yourself for sticking with it. The small changes will have reaped big gains.

Need more ideas about getting organized? We have included recent references from other organizers that may help.

More ways to keep it organized:


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